The Man Next To You

I wrote the following for a friend who had been visiting VA hospitals in the Northwest during the Fall of 2007.  My friend was not part of any larger group or organization, he was visiting wounded vets simply because he believed he needed to.  After delivering some books and spending a few precious moments with one gravely wounded Marine, he reluctantly left the ward and proceeded to leave the hospital.   Not more than a minute later, a nurse came running down the hall after my friend in order to tell him that the Marine he had just spoken with had expired.   My friend was the last living soul to speak with this Marine.   It is my honor to call one man my friend.  It is my honor to call the other my countryman.

The Man Next To You

He waited.

He waited, but not for a parade, nor permission, nor a public pat on the head from some opportunistic policy maker.

He waited because he had yet to confirm he was good to go – but he couldn’t just hear it from anyone.

He waited to hear it from someone who mattered.

He waited to hear that it mattered.

He waited to hear that he mattered.

He waited for the only one with whom he knew he could trust his life.

He waited for the only one for whom he would give his life.

He waited for the man next to him.

He waited because, in the end, the man next to him was all that really mattered.

He waited because he knew the man next to him had always understood.

He departed knowing the man next to him had always had his back, and would someday stand beside another man.  The man next to him is who he was fighting for – who they‘re all still fighting for.  The rest is just background noise.

Just noise, that is, save for the last man to stand next to and comfort a wounded Marine.

At that moment, the man next to him became every man who’s ever stood at the side of another man in war.   At that moment, he more than mattered.

He made a difference.

He made us worthy.

Semper Fidelis, indeed.


Shrugging Atlas

For what it’s worth, I’ve heard/read/seen the title of Ayn’s masterwork more times over just the past three weeks than I have during the course of my entire life.

I know it doesn’t mean anything, and I certainly realize it can’t change anything at this point, but it’s interesting to see the death bed conversions of so many dyed-in-the-wool “conservatives” who’ve come to realize Republicans weren’t then, and aren’t now, the answer to any substantive socioeconomic problem aside from worrying about mothers of fourteen or a bare tit on television.

Ron Paul absolutely needs to bail from the party NOW. Americans are too stupid and ill-educated to do anything besides vote for either an R or a D, anyway, so why go down with a ship that “your” party had scuttled so long ago it’s already rusted out from the inside?

This country cannot be saved.  This country should not be saved.

It was a nice experiment, but we’re finished.  We’ve stayed too long propping up way too many drunk girlfriends (i.e.: the nesting creatures demanding forced altruism, who’ve controlled every election since given the vote) to have NOT worn out our welcome on Freedom’s stage.

I’m just hoping to make this bloated boat’s finial moments above water just as miserable — and perhaps, as bloody — for as many mortal enemies and morons by choice as humanly possible.

I do not, however, consider such demeaning and/or violent actions revenge.

I look at it as just picking up the check for the entire table, because I’m so embarrassed by the disgusting mess we’ve left atop so many brave Americans’ honored corpses.